Christmas is just around the corner. People are getting ready for the highly anticipated time of year by decorating their homes with images or structures of nativity scenes, Santa Claus, reindeer, mistletoe, decorative lights and the ever present Christmas tree.
In parts of central Europe, however, many people are preparing for parades and festivals rooted in lore that’s thousands of years old, pre-dating even the original nativity. If you guessed we’re talking about Krampus the Christmas demon then you’d be right.
Krampus festivals and parades occur from November to December.
According to lore Austro-Bavarian Alpine area, Krampus is half demon, half goat.
In other words, it’s pretty much the anti-Santa Claus.
Legend has it that Krampus accompanies Santa and punishes the bad children while Santa rewards the good ones.
It’s said that Krampus beats the bad children with switches and even puts some bad kids in his sack, takes them back with him to hell, and tortures or even eats them.
During these festivals, people dress up in creepy Krampus costumes as if it’s Halloween.
They try to frighten everyone they can, especially the children (it’s all in good fun, however).
Imagine a Christmas parade that looks like this…
Krampus is a pretty horrifying creature, and these parades and festivals surrounding him are scarier than anything at Halloween. It’s no surprise that it hasn’t caught on around the rest of the world.